Dec 06

Blake Shelton headlining San Diego’s Boots in the Park


Blake Shelton is taking country music to the California coast with a headlining set at 2022 Boots in the Park. 

The one-day event takes over Waterfront Park in San Diego on April 2, with Carly Pearce and Brett Young also performing. Additions to the lineup will be announced in the coming weeks. 

“Y’all don’t miss out on San Diego’s Biggest Country Party!” Blake writes on social media. 

Boots in the Park went on hiatus in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but returned in 2021 with performances by Jon Pardi, Matt Stell and more. 

Blake’s current single, “Come Back as a Country Boy,” is climbing the country charts, currently in the top 20.

Tickets for Boots in the Park go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. ET.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dec 06

“Knowing You”: Kenny Chesney tops the chart with 34th #1 hit

Warner Music Nashville

Kenny Chesney is carrying his nostalgic single, “Knowing You,” to the top of the charts.

The superstar has amassed his 34th #1 hit with the song as it reaches the pinnacle position on the country chart after a 37-week climb. It’s the latest single off his 2020 album, Here and Now, which debuted atop the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and all-genre Billboard 200. 

“There is such a beautiful innocence to this song. I love the idea that what was great is what matters; the idea that what you felt that was so good — that’s the thing to hang on to,” Kenny says in a statement. “Wishing the other person well, hoping they’re out there spreading that same joy, feeling that same love wherever they may be? To me, that’s just beautiful.”

Kenny continues, “My hope, throughout the life of this single, has been for people to take this idea and embrace it, embrace that person they loved who’s gone and celebrate every small thing that was part of their relationship.”

The success of “Knowing You” follows that of the album’s title track, which reached #1 last year. 

Kenny will embark on the 2022 Here and Now Tour with Carly Pearce, Dan + Shay and Old Dominion next spring, launching on April 23 in Tampa.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dec 06

Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood & more to appear on inaugural ‘Opry Live: USO Holiday Special’


Luke Combs and Carrie Underwood are performing in the Grand Ole Opry’s first USO show this holiday season. 

Created in partnership with United Service Organizations, a nonprofit that provides entertainment to service members and their families, Opry Live: USO Holiday Special will feature additional performances by Josh Turner, Lauren Alaina, Craig Morgan, himself an Army veteran, plus Jessie James Decker and duo The War & Treaty

The show will be hosted by American Idol alum and USO Global Ambassador, Kellie Pickler. “I’ve never worn the uniform, but I’m a proud supporter for those who do. As a Global Ambassador for the USO, I hope to share the importance of serving those who serve us all,” Kellie says in a statement. 

Opry Live: USO Holiday Special will air on the Circle Network on December 18 at 9 p.m. ET and will be livestreamed on the USO and Circle All Access’ Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dec 06

Maren Morris gets a tour of the White House


Ahead of her performance at the National Christmas Tree Lighting event in Washington, D.C. on Sunday night, Maren Morris got a special tour of the White House. 

The superstar took to her Instagram Stories to take fans along for the ride, sharing sweeping shots of the Red Room, which that features one of many giant Christmas trees under a decadent chandelier. Maren’s back is to the camera as she stares up at a portrait of Angelica Singleton Van Buren.

The singer also shared a bit of history, writing alongside a portrait of George Washington, “Dolley Madison saved this portrait from burning in a fire from the British Invasion of the White house in 1814.” 

Several massive trees, an extravagant manger scene and a live jazz band were all sights to behold on the tour, with Maren donning a mask in the Green Room, shaking her head in awe. 

“At the Christmas party hop,” she captions the experience. 

Later, the hitmaker took to President’s Park to perform a cover of Brenda Lee‘s classic holiday hit, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” for the annual holiday special that aired on CBS.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dec 06

Brett Young’s a fan of Darius Rucker “through the roof” after they teamed up for his Christmas record

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Brett Young was already a huge fan of Darius Rucker, but he was impressed by the veteran performer on a whole new level after working with him on “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” for his holiday record, Brett Young & Friends Sing the Christmas Classics.

“It was one of those moments where I was like, ‘I’m not just a fan of you as an artist. Now I’m a fan of you as a professional and as a singer. Like, through the roof,’” Brett recounts.

Darius was such a pro that he got in and out of the studio in almost no time at all. “He spent more time driving to and from the studio than he did in the studio. That’s how quick he sang the vocal on this record,” Brett adds with a laugh. “He was in and out and he crushed it, and it was almost like he was never in the room in the first place.”

As for Darius? He says it was a no-brainer agreeing to be a part of Brett’s Christmas project. “I remember him asking me to do it, and I was just honored that he asked me,” the singer explains. “…I love his voice. I love him. So that was a lot of fun, and I’m proud to be on that.”

The two men live in the same neighborhood and they’ve become friends. “He actually asked me while we were playing golf. I was like, ‘Sure, man!’” Darius goes on to say.

The two friends will reunite on Wednesday for the CMT Crossroads Christmas: Brett Young & Friends holiday special. Tune in at 8 p.m. ET on CMT.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dec 03

Kelsea Ballerini celebrates four years of marriage to Morgan Evans with a mini-poem


Kelsea Ballerini and her singer-songwriter husband, Morgan Evans, marked four years of marriage on Thursday, and she celebrated by sharing a snapshot of the two of them together.

In the caption of her post, Kelsea shared her feelings for her husband in a few words: “You are etched into me / A heart carved on a tree / permanent,” she wrote.

It makes sense that the singer would want to share her feelings through rhyme: This year, she dove into the world of poetry, temporarily trading her guitar for pen and ink to release her new collection of poems, Feel Your Way Through. In the book, she explores themes of body image, relationships, personal growth, family dynamics and more.

Morgan shared the same snap on his Instagram, with an equally heartfelt — if not quite as poetic — caption.

“Happy Anniversary baaaaaabe!!! 4 years on this crazy, beautiful, winding road together…and I wouldn’t wanna be riding it with anybody else! I love you,” he wrote.

Fans who saw Kelsea and Morgan’s anniversary picture may have been surprised to see that the singer has made a big switch in her appearance, too, trading in her trademark blonde locks for a brunette look. In a previous post, she explained that her blonde hair is “hibernat[ing] for the winter,” calling her darker hairstyle “au naturale.”


Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dec 03

Nashville notes

Brett Eldredge discusses his new holiday album and all things festive in a new Christmas-themed Q&A. You can watch the full interview on YouTube now.

Lainey Wilson, Granger Smith and Chase Rice are featured artists on “Beer Song,” the newest track off of the Hardy-curated Hixtape: Vol 2. The full project comes out next Friday.

MacKenzie Porter just dropped her newest song, “Coming Soon to a Bar Near You.” Most recently, you can catch her as Dustin Lynch’s duet partner on his single, “Thinking ‘Bout You.”


Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dec 03

Luke Bryan + Morgan Wallen are headliners for the inaugural TidalWave Music Festival


Luke Bryan and Morgan Wallen have just been announced as the headlining acts for TidalWave Music Festival, a brand-new country event that’s coming to the beach of New Jersey’s Atlantic City in 2022.

The three-day fest will take place August 12-14. Luke and Morgan are each scheduled to headline one day, with an additional headliner expected to be announced soon.

Taking place alongside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk, concertgoers will be able to take in the area’s many attractions — such as saltwater taffy shops, casinos and the Steel Pier amusement park — in between sets.

Other artists performing on the main stage include Riley Green, Hardy, Runaway June, Travis Denning, Breland and more. The event will also feature a second stage, with a lineup to be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets for TidalWave Music Festival go on sale December 13 at 10 a.m. ET. Three-day general admission passes start at $249, and VIP packages are available.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dec 03

“Slow Down Summer”: Thomas Rhett yearns to turn back the clock in his flashback-filled new video


Thomas Rhett’s “Slow Down Summer” tells the story of young love that’s racing against the clock, with both people in the relationship desperately clinging to the time they’ve got left together before the seasons change and their busy lives pull them apart.

In his just-released music video, the singer sets a visual component to his song, following two people as they head into colder weather but can’t forget the memories of those blissful summer days.

In one scene, a young guy is driving along a snow-covered road, and when he looks over to the passenger seat, the weather instantly changes to hot and sunny, and he sees the girl he lost smiling back at him from the shotgun seat.

“Slow Down Summer” is the lead single from Thomas’ next album, Where We Started, due out in early 2022. He’s been on a creative hot streak lately, as Country Again: Side A just came out earlier this year, and Side B of that double album is due out in the fall of 2022.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dec 03

Blake Shelton drops ‘Body Language Deluxe’, complete with Brooks & Dunn and Hardy duets


The deluxe version of Blake Shelton’s Body Language album arrives today, adding four new songs to the album’s original 12 tracks.

Among them are two new high-profile duets. One, called “Fire Up the Night,” features rising star Hardy, who also co-wrote Blake’s 2019 hit, “God’s Country.” Hardy’s a co-writer on the new song, too, as is Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley.

With his Hardy collaboration, Blake dips into the best of Nashville’s new crop of artists, while elsewhere on Body Language Deluxe, he keeps it old-school with one of the genre’s legendary acts: Brooks & Dunn, who appear on another new song, “Throw It On Back.”

The other new tracks on the album are Blake’s current single, “Come Back as a Country Boy,” and the song he wrote for his wedding vows to Gwen Stefani, “We Can Reach the Stars.” Each of the four new tunes are special, he explains, and he wanted the world to hear them even though he wasn’t yet ready for a whole new album cycle.

“We wanted to release this deluxe album because some songs came in at a point where I wasn’t ready to make a new album,” Blake says. “But I wanted to get these songs out there, so that’s what we decided to do.”

To celebrate, the singer stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Thursday night for an interview and performance of “Come Back as a Country Boy.” You can also catch him on NBC’s TODAY and Ellen, and next Tuesday, he’s performing his single on the People’s Choice Awards broadcast.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.